February 09, 2012

Let the Walls Fall Down

Ephesians 2:11-22

He himself is our peace, who has … destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.
Ephesians 2:14


Though the caste system has been legally abolished in India, class struggles continue. Ads for potential spouses use veiled references to indicate preferred status. And for 165 million “untouchables” (Dalits), life at the bottom of the social ladder remains full of discrimination, persecution, even violence.

But many “untouchables” have found the gospel to be a magnetic attraction. Why? Because in Christ all barriers, all walls of hostility, are torn down.

In Ephesians 2, as Paul speaks about Jews and Gentiles, he brings to mind the structure of the Jewish temple. Gentiles were separated from Jews by a wall that stood between the Court of the Gentiles and the Court of Jewish Women. But Christ has torn down the dividing wall with the sledgehammer of the cross. Now there is no Jew or Gentile, no male or female, no slave or free—and no Dalit or Brahmin. All are one in Christ Jesus. (See Galatians 3:28.)

Of course, we don’t need to visit India to see class distinctions. Though not as formalized, they exist in North America too—and they put up strong resistance to creating true Christian community. In many churches, socioeconomic success defines those who feel they really belong.

Who is standing outside your class circle today? God wants you to tear down another dividing wall and share Jesus’ love.

Lord, help me share the good news in such a way that walls of difference come crashing down by the power of your grace. Amen.

About the author — Bob Heerspink

Dr. Robert Heerspink was director of Back to God Ministries International from 2006 until 2011, when he passed away. He had previously pastored several Christian Reformed churches. Bob loved to write and was a frequent contributor to the Today devotional.

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